Multi-agency sting operation targeting homebrew alcohol carried out on Northside 

Multi-agency sting operation targeting homebrew alcohol carried out on Northside 

Alcohol containers found during the raid.

A multi-agency sting operation targeting homebrew alcohol being sold to the homeless community was carried out this morning.

Gardaí along with other agencies raided a residential premises on the Northside of the city.

The search warrant executed was as a result of a joint investigation into the supply of illicit alcohol to vulnerable (homeless) members of society in Cork City.

It is believed that social welfare cards were being taken from people and payment for the alcohol was being taken directly from their accounts on a weekly basis. Gardaí described the racket as "quite organised sale and distribution."

The substance, which is believed to be Russian or Polish poitin was being sold in 500ml water bottles for €10-€13 per bottle.

Money found during the multi-agency sting operation.
Money found during the multi-agency sting operation.

It is understood that the alcohol being supplied is incredibly potent and may be indirectly linked to more than one death that has occurred recently in the city.

Gardaí said they thought at least 120 litres were being sold on a weekly basis, producing an income of €400,000 per annum.

The operation, which took place at 8.30am, consisted of Garda members from Anti-Social Behaviour Unit & Detective Branch, Customs, Food Safety Authority of Ireland & HSE.

A quantity of homemade alcohol, roughly estimated to be 60 litres, was seized along with cash. Hundreds of bottles were also being prepared for packaging.

The alcohol being supplied is suspected to be high strength and not having undergone any quality controls.

Revenue investigations relating to excise matters are on-going.

Gardaí said that the Food Safety Authority (FSAI) and the HSE will be investigating with a view to a prosecution from a public health concern.

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